Aug 30, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Matt Kalil (75) prepares for a game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Five Vikings You Should Probably Be More Worried About

Everything is hope and faith and optimism in Viking Nation right now, and that’s fine, but there’s nothing wrong with dropping a small dose of reality into your purple Kool-Aid now and again just to keep your brain strong.

With that in mind, I offer a list of five Vikings you should probably be more worried about.

1. Matt Kalil

Two years ago it was a foregone conclusion that by year three Matt Kalil would be a top five left tackle in the NFL. Well, Kalil is now starting his third year, and he’s not even a top ten left tackle. Coming off an inconsistent, injury-plagued season, Kalil is one of the bigger question marks on the offense. If Kalil doesn’t get right physically, and re-discover the mean streak he showed in his rookie season, then this time next year, we might be talking about him as a bust. Don’t be surprised if we hear rumblings about Antonio Richardson pushing Kalil in camp. The Vikings probably want Richardson to push Kalil in camp. A little motivation never hurts, especially with a guy like Kalil who seems a tad up-and-down.

2. Xavier Rhodes

As we learned with Matt Kalil and others, we should never just take it for granted that a promising rookie will automatically progress in his second year. Sophomore slumps happen, for a variety of reasons. Xavier Rhodes has a lot of talent, and he showed development over the course of year one, but that curve could just as easily go downward as upward in his second year. We’ll see what Jerry Gray, George Edwards and Mike Zimmer can get from Rhodes. I have a little more faith in them than I did in Joe Woods, Alan Williams and Leslie Frazier.

3. Everson Griffen

Rightly or wrongly, Griffen is now one of the faces of the Vikings defense. He will be expected to have an impact. I’m not talking about sack totals, since sack totals are kind of meaningless anyway, and even more so in a system like Mike Zimmer’s. He has to have an impact that you don’t necessarily see on the stat sheet. He will be the Michael Johnson in this defense, and he has to perform at close to that level. He wanted the money, he wanted the starting snaps, now he has to go out and show that he can live up to the expectations that come with all that. There is a potential bust factor here, don’t fool yourself.

4. Cordarrelle Patterson

Patterson has quickly become a fan favorite. Many fans already have him ranked among the best receivers in the league even though he’s done little yet to demonstrate that he’s earned such high regard. He did great last year on returns and designed plays that put him in position to use his great open field skills, but now he has to take the next step and become a legit all-around receiver. He has to become a consistent, dangerous downfield weapon. He has to learn to run routes, get separation, go up and get the ball the way the top receivers do it. He hasn’t proven yet that he can be the guy some envision.

5. Adrian Peterson

If you want to tick off Viking fans, just suggest that the Vikings are trying to get rid of Adrian Peterson. That’s the kind of loyalty Peterson inspires, and it’s understandable given everything he’s done for the team. He is one of the true legendary Vikings, one of the greats in franchise and league history. But – reality time – he’s 29, and he has a lot of mileage on his body. The steep downward slide is coming for Peterson, and it could be coming sooner than we think. It could even be coming this year. No one wants to face the end of Peterson as we’ve known him, but that end is looming up faster and faster. It’s just the truth, like it or not.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Cordarrelle Patterson Everson Griffen Matt Kalil Minnesota Vikings Xavier Rhodes

  • David Mallow

    it is are the WORST columnist ever.. do you keep up with what is going on, or do you get your info from ESPN?. Clueless… these are all guys that are getting much love from the new staff, and you say that they will be busts…lmao…what a douche you are…never a positive article by you about this team…complete garbage,you and your articles

  • Tyler Erhardt

    Yeah, much like two torn ligs in a knee is a career ender, right? What did Zinski say about AP when he tore his knee up? When will people learn AP is better than most? 30 for any other back is like 35 for AP.

  • Kevin Wolfe

    Your reason for Griffen’s “bust potential” is the fact that we are paying him a lot of money. Great insight there. You doubt Rhodes just because it’s his second season? Ok. You just acknowledged Kalil had a bad year because of injuries and said Patterson could suck because he has a lot to learn? Most would just call that a high ceiling considering his 9 TDs as a rookie. Your only MAYBE decent point was AP’s age

  • Dan

    Your Vikings opinion pieces are, without a doubt, the worst pieces of commentary/sports journalism to be found anywhere on the internet. You piece your own baseless opinions together with any rumours you can find/make up and then cite some facts that are only marginally related to what you are writing about to make it seem like you are actually making a point; you aren’t though. Add in the fact that your writing style is averaging mediocre and I really do not understand how anybody would let you be the lead editor of a primary school newsletter, let alone an online sports blog. Please stop with the opinion pieces. You are embarrassing yourself.

  • MikeH123

    These are the least of the Vikings worries since these five players are unlikely to fall to below average. I am far more worried about the QB, X WR (Simpson if Patterson plays flanker), MLB, Greenway and slot CB.

  • D.J. Asmus

    I appreciate the article. Well written but c’mon man! Now I’m sad after reading that. Skol Vikes! BAROO!!!

  • Mike Kauther

    What the hell kind of crap article is this? Shots aimed at our best and most talented players. I would expect to see this shit in the Milwaukee Journal

  • Fro Buntu

    Lol, wow. If you wanna play devil’s advocate you could atleast piece together some better points. Or change the name of the article so you don’t put pressure on yourself as the bringer of doom and gloom, maybe call it “Worst case scenario,” or something of the sort.

  • Todd Robinson

    I agree with your observations regarding Matt Kalil. He hasn’t performed up to expectations. As a first round draft pick, he should be dominating at this point. If the reports are correct, he can’t even get back on the field yet. Lets hope he returns to prominence soon.
    As far as the remaining guys you mentioned. I don’t see why they’ve even been included in this article.

  • Kenneth Chandler

    You really get paid for posting $hit like this? Man, I need an application.

  • David Crosby

    I’m with the take on Khalil, but are you serious on the rest? Lol man you must be a Packer by night.

  • robb

    Kalil is the only one who really fits the list here. My only complaint about my favorite Viking, Patterson, is I would like to see him develop to catch the ball away from his body rather than trap it with his torso. Other than that I have to concur with the other posts here and say “Huh?!?

  • Kevin Carlson

    “Sack numbers don’t mean anything”- That is an actual quote from a sports columnist. I’m speechless.

  • Makabe Aberle

    Is this lost a joke I mean the players on this list are the faces of the franchise AP is called All Day for a reason. Patterson was a finalist for Offensive Rookie of the year, Kalil has been to the Pro Bowl, Griffen and Rhodes are supposed to thrive in Zimmer’s system, this article is just a price of crap

  • Zack Selzman

    I think he makes good points with Everson Griffen the Vikings extended a contract based on what they thought he will be able to do rather than being based on what he has actually done. The way people talks about Patterson you would think that he was the second coming of Chris Carter, but the kid has really really not played that well yet. Not in the way that you would expect a starting wide receiver to play. He has a lot of potential, but it is just that, potential, he really has not delivered anything Rhodes, same deal, lots of excitement over potential skill, not actual skill. Kalil, I’m not that worried about Kalil, I think he will continue to grow and be the solid lineman we expect him to be. This is a list of the people that the Vikings are all excited about because it is hard to get real excited about the players based on what they have actually done and looking at future potential is a lot easier for a Vikings fan right now. Including AP in this list was a little silly… Do you really think that if defenses did not completely stack the box that AP would have had the same numbers that he did last year? AP did not decline, those around him did.

  • Cool Jack

    Are you living with the cheeseheads in Green Bay? Didn’t watch the OT’S?….Wake up and smell reality in Minnesota….! We are Viking fans with real minds…When will you write something positive….Never mind…..too late….!

  • Erin Hebert

    I’m so sick of hearing Peterson is ready for a rapid decline because he’s the dreaded 29. I recall his knee being blown apart yet putting in the work & dedication to return to the field like a machine long before any medical professional predicted possible. If I’ve learned anything about All Day its that the normal rules do not apply. He’s been proving people wrong his entire career and this will be no different. A will not be finished until the single season rushing record belongs to him. He is the last person any of us need to worry about. He is and always will be the man! Skol Vikings & long live Adrian Peterson